Anti-Christian violence in India’s Uttar Pradesh ‘part of the state machinery’

Anti-Christian violence in India’s Uttar Pradesh ‘part of the state machinery’
The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, one of several to be ruled by the governing BJP party, is emerging as a new centre of anti-Christian violence as politicians use a fundamentalist form of Hinduism to intimidate minority communities. According to the religious freedom NGO ADF-India, Uttar Pradesh experienced the . . . Read More

Jail for Iranian pastor’s son found guilty of ‘acting against national security’

Ramil Bet-Tamraz was one of the Christians arrested during a picnic in the Alborz Mountains north of Tehran last August. His father, Victor, was arrested on 26 December 2014 for celebrating Christmas.
The son of an influential pastor silenced by the Iranian government has been handed a four-month jail sentence for his involvement with illegal house churches, World Watch Monitor has learnt. Ramil Bet Tamraz’s lawyers were informed of the sentence for “acting against national security” on 8 July. One of the . . . Read More

Hopes dashed for release of pastor Andrew Brunson as Turkish trial to continue in October

Andrew Brunson (World
Hopes were dashed for the imminent release of an American pastor jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges as a Turkish court today ordered him to remain behind bars. The court scheduled Andrew Brunson’s next hearing for 12 October. Some observers had believed that Turkey might release Brunson, who has been . . . Read More

Freed Czech charity worker recalls finding hell and heaven in Sudan’s jails

Freed Czech charity worker recalls finding hell and heaven in Sudan’s jails
The Czech aid worker who spent 14 ½ months behind bars in Sudan has said he counted his experience a “privilege” because it enabled him to share his Christian faith with Sudanese prisoners, and praised the country’s “very courageous” Christian minority. Petr Jašek also told World Watch Monitor that two . . . Read More

Iranian Christian woman pleads with UN to help family overturn ‘false and unjust’ spy charges

Iranian Christian woman pleads with UN to help family overturn ‘false and unjust’ spy charges
An Iranian Christian woman pleaded with the UN’s Human Rights Council today to urge Iran to overturn “false and baseless charges” imposed on her father, mother and brother. Dabrina Bet-Tamraz’s parents and brother are appealing against lengthy jail sentences they have received for church-related activities. The appeal by her father, . . . Read More

Increase in religious harassment globally – Pew

Increase in religious harassment globally – Pew
Restrictions on religion around the world continued to climb in 2016, as more governments tightened controls on religious practices, populist parties increasingly used rhetoric to attack religious minorities, and the harassment of religious groups increased. A 138-page report by the Washington-based Pew Research Center into global restrictions on religion in . . . Read More

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’

‘Christianity in Syria is under threat from forces the West is supporting’
Two thousand years of Christianity in Syria could be wiped out by the very forces Western governments are supporting, an Anglican vicar has claimed. Rev. Andrew Ashdown, who has made ten trips to Syria since 2014 and is studying for a PhD in relations between Christians and Muslims there, also . . . Read More

Assessment of religious conversions as genuine or asylum-motivated dismissed as naïve

Revd Mark Miller of St Thomas' Church, Stockton, in north-east England, The Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas’s, Stockton-on-Tees, the Revd Mark Miller, has had up to 100 Persian asylum-seekers in his congregation
Attempts by Western politicians and media to judge whether Iranian migrants and asylum-seekers who ask to be baptised are either genuine or are doing so to boost their chances of being granted asylum are “naïve”, according to an academic who has carried out extensive research among Iranians who profess to . . . Read More